Tag Archives: ordination

I have called you friends…

Five men… a single calling: to serve God and His church through “tasks of practical charity”.  And so we welcome these five men who have answered that call — “welcome, brothers!”


“I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.”

Robert Burke, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Syracuse
Dare Dutter, Holy Cross, DeWitt
Paul Lehmann, St. Mary, Hamilton
David Losito, St. Margaret, Mattydale
Mark Shiner, Newman Center at Colgate Univ, Hamilton

Welcome brothers!

Eight men… a single calling:  to serve God and His church through “tasks of practical charity”. And so we welcome these eight who have answered that call–“welcome, brothers!”

The emotions ran deep as each was ordained to the order of Permanent Deacon.  Outside the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, family, friends and dozens of well-wishers gathered to congratulate our new deacons. These men and their wives completed a rigorous 6 years of preparation and formation.

Today, they entered their ministries with full hearts and a commitment to service that was clear to the hundreds who participated in the Ordination Mass. They join over sixty deacons whose outreach encompass ministries in health care, for the elderly, schools, community programs for those in need and prisons.  They are preaching the Gospel news in word and deed each day in communities throughout the Diocese of Syracuse.


Pray for us…

My brothers in Christ, it seems like yesterday when I started my formation journey, two years of Formation for Ministry and four years in Deacon Formation….It has been a long 6 year journey.

My journey to Ordination as a Deacon is quickly drawing to its conclusion.

With only eight days remaining, I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel as an Aspirant in my final 4th Year of the Deacon Formation Program, Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse, New York, USA. Along with seven other men and our wives, we are fulfilling a journey of spiritual growth, faith and fellowship as we prepare to move into ordained ministry in our parishes.

I ask that you keep me, as well as my classmates, in your thoughts and prayers as we go before the Bishop on May 15, 2010.

Peace, Love & Joy

Posted on Saturday, May 08, 2010
Donald Mula, Candidate for Ordination
Permanent Diaconate

On these anniversaries…


Deacons from Left-to-Right: Garrett Kearney, Michael Gudaitis, Tim McNerney, Robert Talomie, Stephen Blabac, David Kirsch, Anthony Paparella, Timothy Downes

Yesterday’s May 17th anniversary of the Permanent Deacon Ordination of eight men in the Diocese of Syracuse passed in very different ways, I’m sure, for each of us.  Still, we have all shared both a call to vocation and ministry that has inalterably changed our lives, our families, friends, co-workers… and yes, those to whom we minister in our parishes and local communities.

Perhaps the photo from the day that captures the essence of the Diaconate for me is not the one above, but instead this vibrant photo with our wives:  true partners in a dual vocational call.

Deacons-Wives 2008In so many ways, our wives have supported us, given much of themselves to this ordained call, and helped us to understand how to live as “men of the cloth” and “of the pews”.

I hadn’t intended to post anything as this first anniversary passed us by, but the Ordo today on May 18th truly hit a responsive chord:  this is the 5th Anniversary of the Episcopal Ordination and Installation of Diocesan Bishop Robert J. Cunningham, our Bishop Designate.  Certainly for him as well, these days in May must hold a special meaning, as he approaches his Installation next Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 as the Bishop of our Diocese of Syracuse.

A special “thank you” to all who remembered the anniversary this past week. Your thoughtfulness and caring makes a world of difference.

What a difference a year makes …


Bishop Robert J. Cunningham (2007)

At this time last year I was both looking forward to my ordination with great anticipation… and wondering just what the future as an ordained member of the clergy would hold.  This morning at 6:08AM when my iPod popped up a message from Danielle E. Cummings, Diocesan Director of Communications, announcing the appointment of the Most Reverend Robert J. Cunningham as the next bishop of our diocese , effective May 26, 2009, I wondered once again about that future.  My first thought:  where do Permanent Deacons fit into Bishop Cunningham’s vision of the future for the Diocese of Syracuse? Our present bishop, James Moynihan, has been a solid supporter of the diaconate.  But what of the new leader of the diocese?

A bit of research yielded some indications.  According to the Summer 2005 Region II  Permanent Deacon News, “After the spring of 2004 and the installation of Bishop Robert J. Cunningham, the diocese developed and began to implement a new program.” of diaconate formation. The diocese had just come off a two year hiatus without a program after the closure of the Wadhams Hall Seminary College in Ogdensburg. The new program, heavily invested in on-line instruction through Notre Dame’s STEP program (Satellite Theological Education Program), has prepared over a dozen men for ordination.

The diocesan efforts have paid off, with 13 men to be ordained to the (deaconformationrequest_march2009) permanent diaconate on September 19, 2009, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Ogdensburg, New York.  A bright future for the diaconate in this north country diocese…  and a sign of support from the new bishop designate.

Indeed, what a difference a year makes!
LIKE TO KNOW MORE? Press Release, Diocese of Syracuse